#1

Merchant
Arizona, USA
http://shor.by/e2j8
AGHARTA is where EPICNESS Begins! Those who know, know...as above, so below.
Scent Profile: Talc, Ambergris, Amyris, French Vanilla Bean, Japanese Sandalwood, Cedar and Oak Moss.
The Saga Begins...
[Image: ZC9OFFo.jpg]


May 2016 - Deep Underground
"VRIL!"
Douglas woke up sweating, kicking and screaming, nearly rolling himself out of his makeshift tent. Another hauntingly real nightmare that faded as fast as it came on. In vain he tried to grasp at what fleeting images remained in the dim atmosphere around his bed roll. In his dream they were being pursued, for what he did not know and by whom he could not see? No one could possibly know they were here.
Looking around at the darkness that engulfed him and his small team of "would be" explorers. Would be meaning: if they weren't lost they would be exploring. It had already been over a month trekking around in these mysterious ancient tunnels, getting nowhere, and almost a year since this whole misadventure began...and how did it begin?
April 20, 2015
Home after 3 weeks of traveling for work he could finally sit down, just sit, nothing more...except, maybe stare at nothing, completely zone out. Possibly gaze at a door knob for a few hours, anything as long as it was mindless and nothing.
It had been go, go, go since the moment he boarded the plane out of Phoenix, nonstop wet shaving excitement! But now he needed to process it all, call his family, make a quick meal, unpack...that could wait till tomorrow or next week, pour himself a much needed drink and maybe pay some bills. With that last thought he picked through the pile of mail that was spilling out of the drop slot of his front door, suspended animation. He should have had the post office hold it for him, he made a mental note for next time.
There were a few women's catalogs for Fran, loads of junk mail for both of them and some random letters. Douglas Smythe was a huge fan of a good old fashioned handwritten letter, though his handwriting, if you could even define it as such, was that of a 3rd graders, simply put - atrocious. He knew this and it seemed not to bother him, if it did, he never let on. It did bother a few of his "pen pals" however but being who they are, kind, never mentioned it.
He separated the junk from the epistolaries and headed towards the kitchen to have a bowl of cereal. Over dinner he picked through the letters and began to put them in the order he would read them in. He discovered among them 6 that did not contain a return address and in a script he did not recognize, possibly pen and ink?
Typically he would insert his prized antique letter opener into the upper right corner of the flap and slice the envelope open, but he was not at his desk. He could get up and improvise with a butter knife, but moving more than he had to was out of the question. So uncharacteristically, he gently peeled open the letter as one does when given a wrapped gift by a stranger or a new friend, so as not to come off like the impatient beast we all are, well mostly all, except for Fran he thought. The envelope seemed very old and opened quite easily, two pages folded twice, yellowed with age and looked to have been torn from a diary slid out.
"What the hell?" Doug said out loud.
Confused he turned the envelope over again and checked the date stamp, 1947...Right. Underneath the faded ink, a single 15 cent Airmail stamp was affixed to the right corner. It didn't make sense. He then delicately unfolded the brittle pages and began to read what appeared to be journal entries from one Admiral Richard E. Byrd. Each envelope contained more of the journal entries, entries that seemed to border the incoherent ramblings of a man gone mad! When Doug was done reading and rereading the journal he looked at the clock, 1:46 am.
"Damn, I wanted to be in bed and in a deep coma by now." he disapprovingly mumbled to himself and then poured himself a drink.
But he knew he was into something out of this world and digging into the details while physically and mentally exhausted was worth it and maybe added a little more woo woo to it all. The entries not only described a strange new world seemingly beneath our feet but also referenced maps. Maps that contained detailed instructions, locations of entrance ways around the globe, tips and insights and most importantly a direct route to the ancient inner earth city of AGHARTA. Of course, there was no map included.
Had to be a joke he thought. He finished his gin and tonic and then with a smirk mixed another. Fran, his girlfriend and partner in crime, had been away visiting with some old college friends on the East Coast and they were obviously playing a trick on him, and in his, by now, over exhausted state, had been sucked into their clever prank. She would be home in a few days and he would confront her with them then. For now he reinserted the silly, probably tea stained pages into their rightful envelopes. In doing so he noticed something odd while stuffing the largest wad of pages into the last envelope. A strange pattern on the inside of the enclosure.
After carefully prying it open and flattening the false envelope on the table, it was clear this was a portion of an ancient, hand drawn map. With great anticipation he took apart all of them and laid all 6 pieces out before him, a puzzle! He hated puzzles, ever since he was little. He always felt like he was putting together something that someone else took apart...the fun part, cleaning up someone else's mess. But this time it was different, he was part of something, seeing something through, part of an epic tale that was still being told...
"Damn it, where'd I put the scotch tape?"
To Be Continued...
Try Something Different ~ Phoenix Shaving
http://shor.by/e2j8
“If I asked for a cup of coffee, someone would search for the double meaning” – Mae West


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